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Everyone is afraid of something. Some people are afraid of heights or the dark. Others may fear bugs or the monsters they think are hiding in their closets or under their beds. Regardless the phobia, sometimes peoples’ fears are irrational, but other times they are shrouded in good reason, like potential danger. A common fear among people, albeit one that I believe to be completely rational, is the fear of dangerous dogs, particularly pitbull terriers. I don’t think that people should have to live in fear of this malicious breed. They attack and harm people more than any other dog breed, and because they are generally viewed as dangerous and are banned in several other states and countries. Furthermore, pit bulls are also not typically easy to train and require unreasonable amounts of attention, making them difficult to raise and vigilantly watch. This leads some people to argue that pit bulls’ aggression and tendency to attack stems from their owners’ lack of responsibility. Despite this claim, I strongly believe that pit bulls should be banned in the state of Georgia.
If a particular breed of dogs has been proven, on numerous occasions, to attack humans and caused death, then that dog breed should be banned. According to Dogbites.org, in the five-year period from 2005 to 2013, pit bulls accounted for 62% of the total dog-related deaths that were recorded (1). How can a single dog breed be accountable for more than half of the dog-related deaths in humans over five years? This is an incredibly compelling statistic that places pit bulls disproportionately at fault for human deaths over other dog breeds. Visually, this statistic is even more compelling. Dogbites.org presents the fatal attacks of dogs, by breed, in 2013 (see fig. 1).
From looking at the graph, it is exceedingly apparent that pit bulls dominate the death count. When one breed of dog can single handedly be held responsible for 78% of deaths in a given year, that dog is undoubtedly violent. Even self-proclaimed dog expert and animal activist Hazel, manager of dog-breeds-expert.com, admits that pit bulls are considered to be one of the most dangerous breeds and are usually bred to be guard dogs or for dog fighting (5). This breed is bred to be violent and vicious, so how is it possible to argue that pit bulls are not dangerous dogs. “My husband was outside with our two dogs standing beside him when the neighbors pit bull snuck around our back yard and attacked my Chihuahua while my husband was standing beside him. My husband hit him with a 10′ wooden ladder and kicked him. It didn’t phase the pit bull. He was on top of my dog spread out like a frog. My husband ran in the house to retrieve a gun. When he came back outside the pitbull took my dog back into his yard,” Heidi P. of North Carolina posted on the on the Dog Bite Law Center’s website in 2007 (1). The resilience and brute strength of pit bulls is terrifying given their violent natures. Once these dogs set their eyes on a victim, there is no telling what will happen. Heidi’s chihuahua died.
As a result of their violent natures, pit bulls have been banned in many states in the US as well as in many countries around the world. “Because of the deaths, maulings and serious injuries inflicted by pit bulls, many countries worldwide ban these dogs altogether or require licenses for ownership of them. In response to many high profile maulings and fatal attacks by pit bulls, many US cities and towns have specifically targeted the breed with legislation restricting ownership and increasing penalties on owners for attacks made by their pit bulls,” (Dog Bite Law Center 1). According to Bill Spotts of the Arizona Republic, pit bulls have been banned in Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, parts of Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Puerto Rico, and Sweden (1). Pit bulls are also banned in some states in the US. For the critics who believe that the idea that pit bulls are dangerous and should be banned is a foolish, untrue argument that lacks basis, I implore you to explain why, then, do so many people from so many different places around the world share this belief. The obvious answer is that this belief is common among all of these people because pit bulls are dangerous, they have been proven to be so, and the only way to protect society from this unnecessary hazard is to get rid of the problem. “The pit bull is rightfully banned from these smart countries because it is a very aggressive, fearless, vicious, bloodthirsty attack dog that has no place in civilized society,” (Spotts 1). I like to think that the state of Georgia has a civilized society. I also like to believe that pit bulls have no place in this society.
The aggressive of pit bulls is so terribly matched with their neediness and difficulty to train. Though the Board of Directors for Rescue Every Dog states that pit bulls are intelligent dogs, they also say that they are violent, needy, difficult to train and require unreasonable amounts of attention (1). Rescue Every Dog provides breed descriptions for all sorts of dogs. In the descriptions, they provide useful suggestions about which type of people would be the best owners for each sort of dog and they try to highlight each dog’s positive qualities. They, however, even concede that pit bulls do not get along very well with other animals and they can often overwhelm small children because of their natural tendency to be very active and naturally aggressive (1). So, even though pitbulls are said to be an intelligent breed, according to the Board of Directors at Rescue Every Dog, they are considered hard to train because they are born with aggressive because it is simply a part of their personality as a breed. It can be difficult for even dog experts to train pit bulls to be more calm and nonviolent (1).
Some people argue that pit bulls are not responsible for their actions, rather the fault is due to the owners for their negligent behaviors. I would hardly call an owner negligent because he or she cannot reverse the natural aggression and tenacity of a dog. Moreover, if these dogs are difficult to train, then not just any person should be allowed to take on that sort of responsibility. As humans we are fallible, and oftentimes people believe that they can handle a situation and they later discover that they cannot. A person may think that he or she can manage a pit bull and then realize that the task is too difficult. This is why the burden should be placed on the state to determine who, if anyone, is allowed to take control and ownership of this dangerous breed. The Board of Directors at Rescue Every Dog tries to encourage people to give homes to all sorts of dogs, but even they concede, “Training will not eliminate dog aggression in the pit bull but, when combined with responsibility and vigilance, training can bring these natural tendencies under control in on-leash situations,” (1). The Board of Directors tries to, in the most roundabout way possible, explain that it takes an experienced trainer to work with pit bulls and even after all of the work, they can still be violent in highly-controlled situations. It is absurd that this breed of dogs, that are so incorrigible and uncontrollable, are not banned here in Georgia.
A breed of dog more vicious than any other; pit bulls present a clear danger to society and all of its members. Therefore, the state of Georgia should place a ban on this breed. They attack, harm, and kill more people than any other dog breed Additionally, they are extremely aggressive towards other dogs due to their genetically inherited tenacity and instinct to fight. For these reasons, they are generally viewed as dangerous and are banned in many places in the United States and in several countries around the world. Furthermore, pit bulls are also not typically easy to train and require unreasonable amounts of attention, making them difficult pets to raise and train. As a result, people often argue that pit bulls’ aggression and tendency to attack stems from their owners’ lack of responsibility and mistreatment. This is not entirely accurate because even the most responsible pet owners and trainers struggle to prevent pit bulls from exhibiting aggression and from attacking other people and dogs. If professional trainers experience this sort of plight, then it is unreasonable to assume than any average person and pet owner can own and control this breed. Pit bulls simply are dangerous and they attack and kill several people and animals every year. Therefore, if the state of Georgia does not place a ban on pitbulls, then the continual loss of our loved ones’ lives will become our biggest fear.
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